Columbia University School of the Arts recognizes that Manhattan is part of the ancestral and traditional homeland of the Lenni Lenape and Wappinger people. The School also acknowledges that we are part of an institution whose spaces are funded, governed by, and named for families who derived their wealth from the transatlantic slave trade and plantation slavery. By acknowledging the legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that have enabled us to gather here today, we are taking a small first step toward the long and overdue process of healing and repair.
The School of the Arts will continue to confront and address issues of exclusion, erasure, and systemic discrimination in our community through ongoing education and responsible representation. As a School, it is essential that we foster a truly creative environment where all are seen, heard, represented, and understood, so that our artists can focus their energy on doing what they are called to do: to hold a mirror up to society to interpret the world as they see it, while helping humanity envision a better future.